I think that we had to wait for Agassiz to show us that the "diluvial scratches" were really glacial abrasions, caused by the great glacier which came down the valley of the Hudson and went to sea off Sandy Hook.
The scratch on the safe door, slight and minute as it was, was his starting-point.
"Hen-scratches," was Uncle Robert's judgement, when he looked over the paper upon which she had scrawled.
By an extraordinary effort she raised herself, lengthening her stature until she was able to touch the envelopes of strong blue paper with the tips of her fingers; and her fingers traveled over them, contracting nervously, scratching like claws.
"Only a scratch," came the reply. "
The pity is that I have spent my best years scratching like a hen at its doorstep instead of entering.